Judge queries why criminal was bailed

Magistrates in West Norfolk are to be asked why they kept giving a man community orders and bail despite his repeated law-breaking.

Magistrates in West Norfolk are to be asked why they kept giving a man community orders and bail despite his repeated law-breaking.

Sitting at Norwich Crown Court, Judge Peter Jacobs said that Simon Ruby had continually committed offences of shoplifting and burglary while on bail.

“West Norfolk magistrates throughout 2005 and 2006 bent over backwards to help you, giving you community orders and within a matter of days you were committing another offence of theft for which you were given another order,” said Judge Jacobs.

“My main concern is why was he constantly on bail?”

Malcolm Robins, prosecuting, said a letter would be sent to the Lynn clerk to the justices about the case.

Ruby, 31, of Hillington Square, Norfolk, admitted two offences of shoplifting in December last year having taken a jacket worth £89 from Next and whiskey worth about £80 from Marks and Spenders in Lynn.

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While on bail, he stole a £20 jacket from Peacocks in Lynn on January 8. He later stole over £41 worth of DVDs from Matalan on January 24.

On January 27, Lynn magistrates bailed him again on condition he reports to the Lynn police station. When in the police station he spat on a police officer.

Then between February 1 and 5 Ruby burgled his elderly neighbours' flat taking an antique violin and jewellery, knowing they were away in a nursing home at the time.

The court heard Ruby had a long history of offending going back to 1994 of shoplifting; and three years for robbery in October 2001.

Jude Durr, defending, said Ruby was addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Jailing Ruby for a total of three years and five months, the judge said: “You burgled an elderly couple who had shown you kindness and who were thoroughly decent people. This was a targeted burglary as you knew they were vulnerable and elderly and this was a mean offence.”